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Eyes in the Back of My Head

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Album Review

Over the ten years Cosmologic has existed, they've learned not only how to play high level, original contemporary improvised music, but have created a unique style few stable or working groups have attained. It's also clear they've taken the harmelodic theories of Ornette Coleman to heart, producing a sound that ranges from free bop to relaxed associative and written music tailored to blur bar lines and conventional phrasings. Another intriguing aspect of this quartet is the front line of tenor saxophonist Jason Robinson and trombonist Michael Dessen, a combination that explores lower registers and tonal timbres. Add in the compositional abilities of the front line mates, especially drummer Nathan Hubbard, and you have a band that sounds completely fresh, original, and now.

The pieces written by Hubbard include the title track with its amalgamated tick-tock, swing, and funk beats over unison gladiator announced clarion calls from Robinson and Dessen. Various thematic and tempo changes identify "Face in the Crowd," scurrying into a waltz and floating away from a traditional melody. Hubbard's third contribution, "We Kiss in a Shadow on the Other Side of This" is nearly as longwinded as the title, employing the approximate obtuse tuneful devices pioneered by Coleman and filled with substantive duets and solos. "The Rumpus" is a 10/8 romp of implied funk and harmonic contrasts, "Theme for Darfur" an unabashed modified free bopper, while the liberated "Code View" emphasizes the central aspect of this band in their ability to expertly jam with loose and tight written associations, and extrapolate upon them. There is the paradox motif in "Dreams of an Alternate Future/Remembering the Past" with its overtone country and improvised intro bass solo by Scott Walton, and a soulfully blue theme quite similar to Coleman's "Lonely Woman." The serene traipse of "The Apex Is the Whole" is calmer but still very unautocratic and self-assured. The fearless attitude that this group exhibits in taking chances, yet remaining quite listenable, is a rare thing. Another aspect of Cosmologic is that they can play to younger audiences in the midst of discovery, while also appealing to the 50s-and-older set that craves both the "new wave" of the '60s and an updated non-electronic sound. Bravo to Cosmologic for making no compromises, playing some truly fascinating upper echelon progressive jazz music. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Eyes in the Back of My Head, Cosmologic
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Jazz
  • Released: 23 June 2008

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